Chris Rogers has a national championship ring on one hand. But his focus is no longer on football. It’s on preparing young athletes for life away from the field.
Rogers founded TAP (Together Assisting People) after playing defensive back on the University of Alabama’s 2009 national championship team. The organization mentors school-age athletes and provides financial education.
“I saw so many young athletes who weren’t prepared for society,” Rogers said. “So we teach them interview skills and social skills, and we teach them there’s more to life than athletics.”
Thanks to the Regions Tradition’s Birdies for Charity program, TAP now has extra resources. Rogers accepted a $9,000 check from SouthWest Water Company as one of the top five charity fundraisers during the 2016 tournament. Birdies for Charity encourages local nonprofits to raise funds.
“We’ll participate again because it’s a fantastic program, but I’m also going to encourage other organizations to get involved,” Rogers said. “One of the hardest things for nonprofits to do is raise funds. This is a huge help. This was also a great experience for my kids. To be exposed to an environment of business executives and entrepreneurs through the Regions Tradition is priceless.”
The Regions Tradition is an annual major tournament on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, bringing the world’s top golfers age 50 and over to Birmingham’s Greystone Golf & Country Club. The 2017 event is scheduled for May 17-21.
Other charities recognized Monday were the Vestavia Hills Athletic Association (receiving $11,000 in matching funds), Fellowship House Inc. ($10,000), Laps for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation $7,383.14) and A.skate Foundation ($5,525.24).
In all, the Regions Tradition raised more than $1.1 million for Alabama charities in 2016 and has raised more than $15 million since the tournament’s inception in 1992.
“All year long, the Regions Tradition is making the difference in the lives of children and families across our state,” said Leroy Abrahams, North Central Alabama Area President for Regions Bank. “Since the tournament began, proceeds have benefitted hundreds of charities that meet vital needs in the communities we serve. It is an honor to support an event that gives back to the community in such a meaningful way, and we look forward to building on the success in the years to come.”
Regions Bank is the title sponsor of the Regions Tradition, and Children’s of Alabama is the primary benefactor.
In addition to funds raised, the tournament also utilizes close to 1,000 local volunteers each year, freeing money that can be distributed for charity.
“Regions has not only allowed this tournament to ascend to major championship status on PGA Tour Champions, but also to create a meaningful charitable impact in greater Birmingham,” said PGA Tour Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “Today’s announcement further solidifies those efforts.”